Why the sky looked like this Friday night

Thanks to a unique-looking sunset, social media was buzzing Friday night.

Many News 4 Tucson viewers posted pictures of the eastern sky around sunset, which showed different colored rays of light. What appeared over the Old Pueblo is called anti-crepuscular rays. Here’s how they form.

As the sun was setting, the sunlight was being blocked by cloud cover in the western sky. This cloud cover created shadows, which were cast in the eastern horizon. Because sunlight appears to converges as it gets lower in the horizon, these parallel shafts of light took on the look of the Arizona state flag.

When these shadows appear in the same horizon as the sunrise or sunset, they are labeled crepuscular rays. Because Friday night’s shadows were showing in the opposite horizon as the sunset, they take on the anti-crepuscular labeling.

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